September 26, 2018 5:21 AM

Prepping Your Candidates for an Interview

You’ve made it through those endless piles of resumes, your inbox is as clear as it has been in months, and now you’re all set to let your chosen candidates know when and where their interview will take place. But is it enough to send them a time and date? Is that all they really need to know?

The simple answer is no. Candidates need more, and as the recruiter in charge, it’s your job to give it to them. But what exactly does this ‘more’ entail?

 

Make sure they are clued-in

Yes, they applied for the role, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will have an in-depth knowledge of the company. Whether you’re a recruiter hiring for a client or working in-house for your employer, it’s vital that you ensure that your candidates have as much information about the company as they want or need.

Of course, your job description should have laid out the important details relating to the job and perhaps the company website has a nice short and sweet history on the about page. However, you also need to make sure that the company culture and work ethos is plain to see on social media. After all, this is the first place your candidate will look for info once they realise an interview is on the horizon.

Taking this step is not only good for the candidate, but it’s good for you the recruiter too. You see, not every candidate is a good match for a company (if only it were so) and maybe they won’t all fit in with your culture. Giving them as much information about the company as you can gives candidates the chance to make a decision on whether or not they can see themselves working there before the interview. And that saves you time, something we’re sure you can appreciate.

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Ask them to ask questions

Questions from a candidate are a good thing, but of course, this depends on the questions asked (asking how long lunch breaks are is probably a bad idea.) Ask your candidates to prepare a few questions about the company or the role. Not only will this encourage them to do a little research but it will also give you the chance to see if they followed your suggestion.

You should also remind them that in some cases, no questions from the candidate can be looked on in a negative light. So even if it’s a simple query about company policy or culture, a simple question is better than none at all.

 

Prep them for the interviewer

Even if you are the one conducting the interviews, it’s still a good idea to let your candidates know a little about the personality of the interviewer and what he or she likes or dislikes. Yes, this will feel super weird if you’re talking about yourself but if it helps the interviews go smoothly, then it’s worth the effort.

Preparing a candidate in this way can help to ease nerves a little as the candidate will have a better idea of what to expect. On the other hand, it could also make them more nervous so be careful when describing interviewers with strong personalities. You don’t want to make them sound like monsters.

 

Prep them for the questions

Some interviewers like to surprise candidates with questions that are completely out of left field, but generally speaking, we think this isn’t the best approach. Candidates are often nervous enough as it is without you asking them what they would do if they found a penguin in the freezer. Yes, apparently that oddball question was asked at a Trader Joe’s interview.

You don’t need to give the candidate the exact questions you will ask, but you could give them a general idea of the types of questions they will face. Greatest achievements at work, their long-term career goals, you know the kind.

Make it clear though that it is perfectly acceptable to take a moment before answering a question in the interview. Panic answers happen to the best of us, so it’s always a good idea to think before speaking especially if it’s an unexpected question.

 

Don’t forget the little things

Parking, public transport, a broken intercom at the front door; these are the kind of things that a candidate really needs to know about from someone on the inside. Sure they can Google train times and so on, but only you can tell them about the quick shortcut that they can take through that lovely air-conditioned department store across the street from the office.

Create a simple email template that you can send to all candidates giving all the necessary information on getting to and from the interview location. You might also offer them a guide on what to wear for the interview. It’s usually taken for granted that interviews are formal dress occasions but if you’re a jeans and t-shirt kind of company perhaps your candidate might feel more comfortable dressing accordingly.

 

 

So as you can see, from the company culture right down to that broken intercom at the front door, there are quite a few things that you should let your candidates know about if you want that interview to go off without a hitch. Create an email template as we said earlier, or better still, a small information packet that you can send to each candidate before an interview. It may take a little time to perfect but once done right; it will save you and your candidate both time and hassle in the long run.

Make sure you also spending sometime preparing yourself for the interview. Is your company sticking to traditional interviewing methods or are you trying something new?  Here are four ways to up your interview game and stay on top of current recruitment techniques.

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